America's First Black Supreme Court Justice Was Sworn In 46 Years Ago Today

Thurgood Marshall 1967Henry Griffin/APThurgood Marshall is pictured here with his family.

The first African-American Supreme Court Justice was sworn in 46 years ago on Wednesday.

Nominated by President Johnson in 1967, Thurgood Marshall was instrumental in ending legal segregation as a civil rights lawyer. In the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, Marshall successfully challenged the doctrine of “separate but equal” arguing that segregated educational facilties are unequal and therefore a violation of the 14th Amendment.

“Today’s Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish,” Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said.

Marshall served on the nation’s highest court for 24 years. He died at the age of 84 due to heart failure. Justice Marshall and Justice Clarence Thomas are the only two African-Americans who have served on the nation’s highest court.

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